Norma Jean (Tomlin) Cook, 88, of Russell, Kansas, passed away Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.

Norma Jean was born May 1, 1928 in Atlanta, Kansas, the daughter of Herbert and Inez (Murrey) Tomlin.  She attended school in Leon, Kansas until she was ten years old when her family moved to Russell.  She graduated from Russell High School.  She then attended and graduated from Ft. Hays State University with a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education.

Norma Jean was united in marriage to Bob Gene Cook on November 21, 1951in Russell.  This union was blessed with a son, Tom.  They made their home in Russell.

Norma Jean was a devoted wife and homemaker for Tom.  Then after Tom was eight, she started teaching in the Russell County area.  She taught at country schools and most of the schools in Russell.  She was a Teacher for over 50 years before she retired.  She was a member of the Otterbein United Methodist Church and was church Choir Director for many years.  She also was a member of Order of the Eastern Star, Gamma Zeta (Beta Sigma Phi) and Russell Rotary where she played the piano at meetings..  She was the Past President of the Russell County ARC, Co Founder of the Russell Rough Riders, and was on the Russell City Council for over 17 years.  She was on the planning committees for the ’61, ’71, ’81, and ’91 Prairiestas, was Man of the Year in Russell in 1981, was awarded the Heart of Gold Award in 1987 by Edward D. Jones, judged the Russell County Fair talent shows, did “Our Town” presentations, was involved with the Spike Jones Band and with great enjoyment played Bridge for many years with her friends

Surviving family include her husband of 64 years, Bob of the home; son Tom Cook of Russell, Kansas; sister, Kay Lowenstein of Manhattan, Kansas; and two nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents.

Celebration of Norma Jean’s Life will be held at 10:30 am, Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the Trinity United Methodist Church.  Burial will follow at the Russell City Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm Wednesday at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 pm to 7:00pm.  Memorials have been established with the Otterbein United Methodist Church or ARC of Russell County.  Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.


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